By: K. Shawn Edgar
Reconstruct Me First
Rewriting a lover,
rebooting his or her nature
to match my anticipated path,
to align to my projected echo pattern,
that’s the biotechnology of modernity.
Their quirks, jagged ills, or habits―
unpleasant, I rewrite the cornel code with
rituals of reward and punishment; only―
I group them, bumptiously, in narrowly defined
circles within boxes within epoxy resin―
tagging all with stickpin preconceptions.
Reconstruct me, or I’ll reconstruct you.
I’ll hammer, daily, screwing and cranking
your self image―wrapping you in projections
until my standalone processes run continuously
in your native background RAM, and
like a ham-fisted novice sculptor of clay
I’ll turn your cobalt blue coffee mug
into a burnt umber, leaf-shaped teabag caddy.
Step foot from dock planks,
leaving this crackling ground,
if your hands tremble daily;
if your temper is snap-n-pop thin.
The ocean’s wake-billy rhythm,
rolling rough from sky to sky,
will change your gait for the better.
No more slouching on street corners.
Its salt smack will rid the City
from your domesticated sinuses.
Step foot, both together, jump.
Stranger’s hats you’ve tipped;
their guts you’ll spill, so stay not
or in a day, you’ll kill.
It’s a cascade of debt and doubt,
you pod-less pea.
Step foot now, Sea Call,
the shipboard dream
will dunk your delirium,
washing you clean.
Things I Already Know
When I tell myself the things I already know, I’m talking to you. The friends I haven’t met; the strangers on the bus who fain interest. I tell you all, in conversation form, my childhood stories.
The summer evening baseball until it’s too dark to see. The skatepark halfpipe sessions at Avery Park. And then the travel tales from the 1990s. London backstreets and the black soot underground trips. Walking Bond Street and the Bonham-Carter building explorations—a swimming pool illuminated by yellow-green, dank underwater lights three floors below the street.
I tell you about the pedal mashing moments, fast downhill; the car-dodging moments from red-lit intersection through red-lit intersection. The oil spot skidding, or the road-edge gravel slides, and the nose bump bunnyhops up curbs and over concrete dividers.
I unravel the details of long cold night “sleeps” in that Edinburgh train station on Princes Street. Marty the planner of uprisings, clad in dirty argyle and woolen jumpers. Mugs of tea and plates of peas.
I tell you all these things for no other reason than because the bits, the bricks, and the broken ideas.
And in the distance, dogs are barking.